Mexico set to start 2024 Copa America campaign vs. Jamaica

Credit: Mexican National Team

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Credit: Mexican National Team

Game: Mexico vs Jamaica

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston

When: Saturday, June 22, 2024

Time: 6:00 p.m. PST

TV: TUDN, Univision, Fox Sports 1

The Mexico national soccer team will begin its 2024 Copa America campaign against Jamaica at NRG Stadium in Houston this Saturday, June 22. Mexico is in the very competitive Group B of the competition that features Jamaica, Ecuador and Venezuela.

El Tri had a pair of very disappointing friendly matches before the start of Copa America, losing 3-2 to Brazil and 4-0 to Uruguay. Mexico trained in San Diego a week prior to the start of the Copa America and left for Houston this past Tuesday, June 18.

Manager Jaime Lozano had to make some cuts to the roster before the start of the competition as Alexis Pena, Fernando Beltran, Victor Guzman, Jordan Carrillo and Andres Montano were released before the trip to Houston. Lozano has also been dealing with a big decision in the goalkeeper position with an injury to Luis Angel Malagon just prior to the start of the tournament.

The goalkeeper position is being contested by Julio Gonzalez, Raul Rangel, and Carlos Acevedo. However, several reports, including one from Alejandro Orvananos from Claro Sports, indicate that Julio Gonzalez will get the nod against Jamaica.

Orvananos released a possible lineup for the game against Jamaica, and it is as follows: Julio Gonzalez, Jorge Sanchez/Brian Garcia, Cesar Montes, Johan Vazquez, Gerardo Arteaga, Edson Alvarez, Erick Sanchez/Carlos Rodriguez, Luis Chavez, Uriel Antuna, Julian Quinones, Santiago Gimenez

The front three of Antuna, Gimenez and Quinones has the potential to be explosive, especially against an opponent like Jamaica. The only big doubts for Jaime Lozano are at right-back between Jorge Sanchez and Brian Garcia and in the midfield with Carlos Rodriguez and Erick Sanchez. Based on Lozano’s previous lineups it seems that Jorge Sanchez and Erick Sanchez are the front-runners, but it is not clear, who will get the start.

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Jamaica had some controversy before the start of the Copa America with Leon Bailey speaking out about mistreatment and lack of professionalism from the Jamaican Football Federation. To everyone’s surprise, Bailey is on the Copa America roster and is one of the key players for the Caribbean side.

Most of Jamaica’s key players, like Bailey, Michail Antonio, Demarai Gray, Bobby Decordova-Reid, and Ethan Pinnock, play or have played in England. The Caribbean side won third place at the last Nations League competition and are currently playing World Cup qualifiers, coming off wins against the Dominican Republic and Dominica.

Mexico’s group is set to be very hard-fought, and this opening match against Jamaica is a must-win contest if El Tri has any first-place aspirations.

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